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Mayor Hancock Details Comprehensive Review of Sheriff Department

DENVER — Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced details of a top-to-bottom review of policies, training and quality control at the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD).

An executive committee has been established and is charged with overseeing task forces that are reviewing policy and procedures, training, discipline and staffing at the Sheriff Department. The committee will also oversee a Peak Performance review of efficiency and effectiveness in the department as well as lead efforts to identify a new sheriff and an independent third-party consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the DSD.

The executive committee has committed to provide clear communication and regular updates to the community on internal and external reviews underway and those that will take place over the next several months.

“Everything is on the table,” Mayor Hancock said. “This team will create a full action plan by year’s end to turn around this department and make it one we can all be proud of.”

James H. Davis, a respected law enforcement and criminal justice professional, has been contracted to provide independent expertise to the Mayor and the committee regarding correctional reform.

Davis will help locate the best qualified outside firm(s) to conduct an independent review of the DSD and to identify a change agent to take the helm of the department.

Davis served in Gov. John Hickenlooper’s cabinet as executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety and as his Homeland Security adviser. Previously, Davis served 26 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, retiring as Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Division responsible for all investigative, intelligence and administrative operations for the FBI in Colorado and Wyoming. Davis is founder and CEO of Ascent Risk Solutions, a Denver-based security and risk management firm.

The first stage of the reform process was initiated in the spring with the forming of four task forces comprised of 47 community members and city stakeholders. The Denver Office of Human Resources also undertook an organizational assessment of the department. A report based on both efforts will be submitted to the executive committee in the fall that will put forth recommendations for short-term actions and long-term changes for consideration.

Meanwhile, the Mayor has also deployed a Peak Performance team into the Sheriff Department to review efficiency and effectiveness in the department while conducting a preliminary assessment of staffing and processes that will establish a baseline for the independent third-party review.

Davis and the executive committee are working to engage the independent consultant to review the Denver Sheriff Department’s policies, training and quality control. This independent consultant will receive all of the initial assessments above as well as conduct its own review in order to provide final recommendations for reform.

As the city announced earlier this week, it has already selected the law firm of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP as an outside independent firm to review best practices and litigation protocols of the City Attorney’s Office, including specific actions taken in regard to the Jamal Hunter case.

Presently, Rothgerber is at work exploring the City Attorney’s Office’s litigation practice to establish a scope of work that will soon be codified through a contracting process. The review will include the following:
• Protocols for handling and supplementing discovery in civil actions;
• Protocols related to ongoing internal affairs investigations in the city; and
• Best practices related to professional development in the City Attorney’s Office.